While naturally a charismatic person and gifted with the skill of persuasion, I was already unknowingly prepared for a life in communications. However, it was not until I took my first communication class at CSB/SJU that I learned how to apply that natural talent with learned material in the class. After analyzing communication patterns, studying theory and learning how to use mass media to my advantage, I realized this was definitely a field I would excel in. Additionally, I felt that the communication major was the embodiment of a liberal arts education for me as it would prepare me for employment in a variety of fields.
Here at CSB/SJU you are not only getting the opportunity to learn in the classroom but you get to practice what you learned through several outlets on campus. On our campus, communication majors are able to practice for their anticipated careers by writing for The Record, reporting on Johnnie Bennie Campus News (JBCN), hosting their very own radio show for KJNB and even working for the communication department to create new message designs for the school. This alone makes CSB/SJU unique to me because you actually get to apply your classroom learning to on campus activities.
If you are considering a major in communication, I recommend that you start early. I took my first communication class first semester of my sophomore year. I was able to take all the credits needed to be a communication major, but there are definitely some additional courses I wish I could have fit in. Had I started the major a semester earlier, I could have further explored the major by taking more classes in the many areas of communication that CSB/SJU has to offer.
The highlight of my time here at CSB/SJU has been the past two, almost three, years spent working in the Student Activities Leadership Development (SALD) department. Through this department, I have had the opportunity to work with over 100 students, a number of departments, and administration to plan one of the biggest events on this campus — orientation. As an orientation coordinator, I have applied much of the material learned in my communication classes in this position.
While any college student can admit that finding the balance between school, work and all other activities is very difficult, I find that this has not been my biggest obstacle to overcome. I am a first generation college student. This means that when it came time for filling out college applications, applying for scholarships and even completing my FAFSA, my family and I were in the dark. But the confusion did not end after I was accepted to college, because every experience I had was one that most of my immediate and extended family could not relate to. These past three plus years have been difficult, but I am grateful for being an Intercultural LEAD scholar as this fellowship has not only served as a scholarship but also a source of encouragement and has provided the necessary resources to help me navigate this milestone for me and my family.
Although I was unable to study abroad for a full semester, I have had some unique experiences that were granted to me through the resources of CSB/SJU. As an out-of-state student from Newark, New Jersey, my experience has been different from many of the Minnesota natives and their surrounding neighbors. Coming to a rural, small college has granted me a new experience that is very different from life in the inner city. Additionally, as an entrepreneur scholar with the Donald McNeely Center for Entrepreneurship, I have been granted the opportunity to travel to distances near and far: Minneapolis, Silicon Valley, Colorado and China.
I am an Intercultural LEAD scholar, which is a program for first generation college students, and through this, we are encouraged to take active leadership roles on campus. Also, I am a member of the Entrepreneurship Scholars (E-scholars) Program on campus —a two-year course that grants select students a unique experience to study entrepreneurship while also pursuing their own venture. Aside from my main commitments, my other activities include DJing a variety of events and cutting hair as the unofficial barber amongst my friends. For three out of my four years on campus, I have kept two jobs and participated in at least one club to keep it fun. During my last year, I am also a member of the senior committee to help plan enjoyable events for the seniors.
After graduation, I anticipate using my communication degree to obtain a job that will help me use and further develop my skills in the corporate sphere. After a couple years in management, I hope to move forward as an entrepreneur. I plan to use more than my degree but my overall experience from CSB/SJU to pursue a successful career.